Tropical depression Kilo moves away from Hawaii, causes heavy rain

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2015 11:53 PM

(Reuters) - Tropical depression Kilo veered farther away from the Hawaiian islands on Monday, sparing the state a direct hit, though heavy rain generated by the system triggered flood warnings, the National Weather Service and state officials said.

Kilo, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (56 kmh), was moving north-northwest on Monday on a path across the central Pacific that was expected to take it past uninhabited Johnston Atoll, according to forecasts.

“Probabilities are all near zero” that it will pose any threat to even the westernmost inhabited islands of the chain, Kauai and Niihau," said Chris Brenchley, forecaster with the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.

Hawaii will be spared damaging winds from the storm, but heavy rain prompted flash-flood warnings on Monday on the popular destinations of Oahu and Maui.

A swath of Honolulu's Waikiki Beach, the popular tourist destination lined with hotels and restaurants, was closed after a large sewage spill, said the office of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

A statewide flash flood watch was in effect until 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Several roads and state highways have been closed to traffic due to runoff, it said.

Kilo was expected to gain strength again midweek as it heads away from the islands, reaching hurricane strength on Friday, forecast indicate.

Last week, Kilo had looked poised to slam into Hawaii as a Category 1 hurricane.

The most recent cyclone to make landfall in Hawaii was Iselle, which struck the Big Island as a tropical storm in August last year.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Kim Coghill)